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Facial Flushing Caused by Rosacea


Updated July 03, 2014

Rosacea is a common skin disease that causes facial flushing that stings or burns but does not itch. Rosacea also causes the appearance of small blood vessels, or telangiectasias, on the face; adult acne; itchy, burning eyes; and in the late stages, a red, bulbous nose. Facial flushing and telangiectasias are usually the first symptoms to appear and may be the only symptoms of rosacea for years. Why rosacea causes a red, burning face is unclear.

Rosacea and Facial Flushing Triggers
The red, burning face can occur unpredictably or in response to certain triggers. The most common triggers of facial flushing in order are:

  • Sun Exposure
  • Emotional Stress
  • Hot Weather
  • Alcohol
  • Spicy Foods
  • Exercise
  • Wind
  • Hot Baths
  • Cold Weather
  • Hot Drinks
  • Skin-Care Products

Treatment of Facial Flushing from Rosacea
The most effective treatment of facial flushing today is avoiding triggers. Oral and topical antibiotics have not been found to be effective in treating the red, burning face. Two medications that may help reduce the occurrence of flushing with rosacea are the blood pressure medications clonidine and propanolol.

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